The biggest secret to job qualifications is that hiring is up for interpretation and your career has prepared you more than you realize. When searching for a job, pay attention to how you evaluate your skills against a job and give yourself a fair shake. It is easy to discount yourself when you don’t meet all the requirements. Review each position from a full 360-degree point-of-view before you decide your level of qualification. Consider these secrets the next time you review a job description and determine if you are the right fit.
1. Skills Gap
Hiring someone fully qualified is more difficult than ever and often requires top dollar salaries and benefits. The skills gap has created more opportunity for those without all the skills. Supply and demand has forced hiring managers to prioritize some of the skills while sacrificing others. This my friend, is a concession and hiring managers and HR professionals make them all the time.
2. Job Description Evaluation
Take the time to evaluate the job description with a fine-tooth comb looking for top priority duties and how the required skills apply. It is easy to fall into the habit of focusing too much on technical skills, specifically when your experience does not meet the expectation. Soft skills are not considered well enough, leaving some much-needed reflection necessary to accurately evaluate opportunities. Imagine for a second if you had five candidates, none of them had all the skills required. What skills would you seek to ensure they could eventually meet the requirements?
3. Research Job
Take it a step further and compare the opportunity to other companies hiring for the same position. Start by performing a job search using the title (include any other variations) and review other company’s descriptions to determine the most valuable skills. You may also identify skills important to other companies which you could introduce as a benefit to the employer. In addition, use LinkedIn to see how professionals already in this space share their success.
4. Presenting Your Skills
After you have identified all the primary responsibilities and skills, look back to your experiences and determine what could be valuable to this employer. Present your skillset in way that will increase your odds of getting hired. The best way to sell yourself is to quantify your results. It’s not good enough to simply list you know a skill, but necessary to also draw conclusions to the results obtained using the skill. If a job description requires “Excellent Communication” (which most of them do) think beyond the practical and not only demonstrate your great communication skills but also share how it added value in previous experience.
5. Unique Experience
Make sure you share your unique talents, even if the job description doesn’t prefer or require them. This includes fluent bilingual, certifications, awards and recognition (recommendations), and strong soft skills, preferably demonstrated and quantified. These skills help paint a picture of who you are and can communicate who you will be professionally.
Experienced hiring managers understand their ideal hiring goal will be the exception and not the rule. Given the circumstances, the hiring manager can be swayed. Think outside of the box, it’s your uniqueness that will make you memorable.